Cocaine, trespass lead to Longboat arrests

In the early hours of Wednesday morning on Aug. 24, Longboat Key Police Officer Lanier found a Toyota parked after hours at Quickpoint Park on the south end. At approximately 1:39 a.m., Officer Lanier noticed the car in front of the entrance gates. Since the park closes at 11 p.m., Officer Lanier went on foot to determine if anyone was trespassing. He observed three men, Bryan Lopez, Cesar Briceno and Carlos Betancourt, on the fishing dock east of the bridge.

According to the police report, Officer Lanier observed all three of the men consuming beer, and Lopez pouring a white substance out of a clear plastic baggy onto his hand and then snorting the substance.

Officer Lanier then stated he approached all three suspects and flashed his light at them and advised them he was a police officer. According to the police report, Lopez immediately dropped the plastic bag containing the white substance in the grass behind the dock, then all the suspects started fidgeting and putting their hands in their pockets. It was at this time Officer Lanier feared for his own safety, unholstered his gun and advised the three men to lay on the ground and spread their hands out. The three men complied and Officer Lanier called for backup. Sarasota Police and Longboat Officer Ascencio arrived on scene and placed handcuffs on all three suspects.

According to the report, Officer Ascencio located the bag containing the white powdery substance and took photos of it and the beer. The field test showed a positive reaction for the presence of cocaine, which resulted in a charge of possession of cocaine for Lopez.

All three men were arrested for trespassing and for possession of alcohol in the park. A bag of about 4 grams of marijuana was also found on the seat of the car, no one was charged with possession of the marijuana.

Officer Ascencio and Officer Lanier transported the suspects to the Sarasota County Jail.

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Longboat Key News

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